7 steps to ensure that your website migration is successful

7 steps to ensure that your website migration is successful

Every high-quality business should have a high-quality website. A potential or current customer should be able to visit your site to learn about your products or services and make a purchase while also gaining information from relevant content, getting help from customer service, and staying in the know about updates and announcements. 

Not every website will be perfect right off the bat, which is why they often undergo significant changes to boost visual appeal, accessibility and user experience as the business grows. One of the most common ways this is accomplished is through website migration. This involves moving your site to a new host or changing the domain name.

How do you properly complete a website migration? That’s what we’re here to cover. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the steps you should follow to make sure that your website migration is successful when switching to a new host.

7 steps for migrating a website to a new host

One of the most common types of website migration is moving your website to a new host. It’s a technical process that is likely handled by your web development or management team. There are many bases to cover to ensure that your website migration is successful. If it fails, it can lead to issues with analytics tracking, file permissions and redirections. 

If you’re looking for a website migration checklist, then look no further. Here are seven steps to successfully migrate your website:

  • Set the objectives — Your team should understand why the migration is being done and how much is being changed. The first step in your plan should be to set the goals that you want to achieve with the migration, such as improved search engine optimization (SEO) rankings or boosted user experience. The objectives should also align with the scope of the project, such as a complete rebrand or just updating a few sections.
  • Note important metrics — There are many benchmarks that will be impacted by a website migration. It’s important to see where they are before and after the process is completed. Benchmarks like organic traffic, organic rank and site speed should be compared throughout the process. Analyzing changes in these metrics will show you potential problems that have been solved due to the migration.
  • Take content inventory — You don’t want to lose any relevant content or resources during your website migration. Carry out a comprehensive inventory of your pages, media files and documents beforehand. Make backup copies of as much as possible. After the migration is complete, you can run through the inventory and take note of anything that might have slipped through the cracks and upload the backups.
  • Check canonical links — While you’re carrying out the migration, the search engine algorithms need to know which version of your site pages you want users to see, known as a canonical link. Updating your canonical links will ensure that the algorithm prioritizes the main version of a page if duplicates are created during the process
  • Update robots.txt file — You want to make sure that search engine crawlers can access the right parts of your site, which is where the robots.txt file comes in. After your website is migrated, be sure to update your robots.txt file. It should be properly configured so that crawlers (and users) have access to all of your important pages while being blocked from the ones you don’t want seen.
  • Confirm analytics tags — Your analytics tags are essential for tracking metrics, such as page visits. After the migration process, you should make sure that every page you want to track for analytics has the correct HTML tags. Without them, it can be difficult to see the progress of your key performance indicators and which ones need more focus.
  • Test XML sitemap — The search engine algorithms need to be able to see all the URLs on your site in order to rank them on their result pages. If your URL structure has been significantly altered during the migration process, then you should test the XML sitemap to make sure it accurately depicts your current pages before submitting it.

Planning a website migration? BURG+CO. can help

Increasing traffic to your website plays a role in increasing conversions and leading to new clients. However, it’s difficult to attract visitors to your site when you don’t know what to do. Fortunately, this is what we specialize in at BURG+CO.

At BURG+CO., our website design and management services can guide you through the website migration process to make sure that every step is followed as thoroughly and efficiently as possible. If you’re thinking about completing a website migration, we’re ready to talk to you to see how we can help. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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